How to Get Social Customer Service Right, from Conversocial

At Conversocial, we spend a lot of time working with companies who use our software to boost their customer service offerings on Facebook and Twitter. We’ve learnt quite a bit about the challenges they face along the way.

Two thirds of customers want to use social media to communicate with companies about customer service issues,an inevitable consequence of opening up real two-way conversation. Yet brands managing to bring the same level of service to the Facebook wall as traditional communication channels are in the minority.

Here are a few tips on how to deliver great social customer care, taken from our research into the performance of top international retailers. We’ll be releasing our US-focussed study “Who’s ignoring their customers” at the Social Media World Forum on Tuesday.

Face customer service on the wall head on

It’s tempting to respond to customer complaints through Facebook by redirecting them to private channels. The public nature of a complaint on Facebook, a customer kicking up a fuss in front of millions of fans, puts companies off engaging with customers on the page. But your customers know the power of public grumbling, have likely exhausted other options, and won’t be discouraged. Use your Facebook wall to come back at this negative PR with comprehensive support. Showcase your company’s care for its customers and reinforce trust in your brand

Get serious about social customer service

Ignored complaints and slow responses do not make for good customer service in any medium. Most retailers are missing a vast proportion of complaints altogether. Inconsistency makes you look unprofessional, leaves your customers confused about what they can expect from their social relationship with you, and encourages them to repeat their complaints until they’re heard.

But not too serious…

Take the best bits of traditional customer service to social networks. But social media is all about breaking down boundaries.  Make sure you know your audience, and that the tone of your response is appropriate. Corporate lines look stilted and insincere on a Facebook page, and you only have 140 characters to win round your customer on twitter.

Make responses personal.  Try to sign off with something a bit more personal – let your customers feel as though a real human is taking care of them, and not a nameless page.Leaving the name or initials of the customer service advisor is a really simple way to do this.

Stay in control

Keeping track of all wall posts and comments is a challenge for larger pages with several active posts on different parts of the page. Once your conversation grows, (a good thing!) software becomes an essential to pull together all enquiries into a centralised place. This makes it easy to keep track of which agent is dealing with each complaint, and allows marketing and customer service to work together on social communication.

Conversocial’s CEO, Josh March, will be chairing discussions at SMWF New York – so make sure you keep an eye out for him! If you’d like to get your copy of Tuesday’s research release, you can swing by our stand; number 27. We’ll be available to discuss how to make customer service in social media really work, and what Conversocial can do for your business.